3 Coffee Grinding Tips You Need To Hear
Why grinding your coffee at home is essential.
"Fresh Ground Coffee" (eye roll). Yeah, that's an unrealistic expectation for grocery store coffee. We all see these big, bold letters plastered on every pastel-colored, pre-ground, bag of coffee in grocery stores everywhere. That "Fresh Ground Coffee" you're picking up was most likely ground six months to a year ago...DUN DUN DUN. The fact of the matter is, the only way to get fresh ground coffee is to grind it yourself! Otherwise, you're just overpaying for stale bullshit.
Let's get a little nerdy, shall we? Two major components are affected when you grind your coffee, Freshness, and Flavor. When you grind your coffee, you release CO2 that becomes trapped in your beans from roasting, and you increase your surface area 10 fold. These two go hand in hand. When you increase the surface area of the bean, you also increase the amount of CO2 gas that is released. So why is CO2 so important? CO2 holds all of those delicious essential coffee oils in until it is time for them to be released into coffee hence creating a flavor-packed, kick-ass cup of coffee. This alteration of flavor and freshness can happen all within 1 minute of grinding those delicate beans.
Contrary to popular belief... your grinder is hands-down the most important piece of equipment in your coffee brewing setup. You will get far better results with a great grinder and a mediocre brewer than the other way around. The reason for this has to do with what is known as particle size distribution. This is a fancy way of saying the size difference between the smallest to largest particle size in the grind. The better the grinder, the tighter the spread; aka, the size of the particles isn't all over the place. The goal of a good grinder is to create uniformity so that an even extraction can be achieved.
Choosing a grinder
The not so great debate: Blade vs. Burr
A blade grinder is just that. It has a single blade that spins, think of a blender of sorts, it is essentially the same design. When you put your coffee beans in a blade grinder, you aren't cutting them with uniformity at all. With a blade grinder, your coffee grind is going to be inconsistent, being either too coarse or too fine. An inconsistent grind can cause an over-extraction and/or under-extraction in your brewing. If you're on a budget, these things are cheap... but you get what you pay for. Cheap blade grinders will produce cheap tasting coffee.
Now onto our preferred method, Burr grinders consist of two spinning discs (either flat or conical) that crush coffee beans into uniform sizes. A burr grinder crushes your beans with precision rather than cutting them all haphazardly. You can adjust the grind size depending on your brewing method. In all seriousness, this isn't much of a debate...
Just buy a burr grinder already! It's an investment that will vastly improve your coffee brewing experience!
Blade vs. Burr
Here are four burr grinders we love!
- Capresso 560.01 Infinity Conical Burr Grinder
- Baratza Encore Conical Burr Coffee Grinder
- Breville Smart Grinder Pro
- Fellow Ode Brew Burr Grinder
Grinding your coffee
Now, let's chat about the size. Grind size for brewing method, of course. The essential rule here is the longer your water is in contact with your grounds, the more coarse the grind. We created this handy dandy chart to show you the grind size for your preferred brewing method.
Hopefully, we have convinced you to take the plunge into the burr grinder realm, one step closer to coffee perfection.
We could go more into brewing methods but, we will save that for a later date!
TLDR- Buy a burr grinder and grind your damn coffee at home!
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